Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Collectors and Archaeologists Engage in Dialogue

The ACCG website has this blurb about the Newcastle Portable Antiquities Conference:

This begs a question: why can't something like that happen here?

I suspect in the Portable Antiquities Scheme has already given archaeologists in the U.K. far greater exposure to the benefits of collaborating with members of the public than their U.S. counterparts. It probably also does not help that many U.S. archaeologists who dig abroad often do so in countries where members of the public are actively discouraged from participating in preserving, studying and displaying artifacts from the past.

It is also a bit odd to me that to the extent there are any public debates about the issues in the U.S., only two stakeholders-- archaeologists and museums-- are typically represented. One wonders if academic snobbery is at work on some level.

In contrast, the drafters of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act considered dealers and interested members of the public also to be important participants. Indeed, the CPIA mandated more dealer and public spots on CPAC (3 each) than museums slots (2).

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